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'willy nilly' Posts

Mike Smith: On directing drama and passing on Russell Crowe...

Posted on 28 April 2014

Versatile director Mike Smith has made an enormous amount of New Zealand drama. Highlights of his lengthy television CV include Radio WavesDugganSerial KillersThe Almighty JohnsonsNothing Trivial, tele-movie Siege and upcoming docudrama Nancy Wake: The White Mouse. Smith also had a big hand in creating Heroes (80s pop band on-the-make show), yokels comedy Willy Nilly, children’s drama The Lost Children and 2013 comedy Sunny Skies. He was also one of the key players in the launch of Outrageous Fortune.

In this ScreenTalk interview, Smith talks about:

  • The unforgettable personnel officer when he interviewed to join state television
  • Vital lessons learned from drama head John McRae, while directing 70s soap Radio Waves
  • Producing and directing Heroes, the drama series about a pop band
  • Failing to cast a young unknown called Russell Crowe
  • Differences between Australia and NZ, after eight years largely working across the Tasman
  • Returning home for drama series Cover Story
  • Creating shows after setting up a production company with editor John Gilbert
  • Making successful short Willy Nilly, about two “rural idiots,” and learning about the complexities of comedy on the hit TV series which followed
  • Casting secrets from his days as producer of Outrageous Fortune: including a lack of network enthusiasm for star Robyn Malcolm, and Munter originally being a Pākehā
  • Working with “fantastic” producer/director Mark Beesley on The Almighty Johnsons
  • How in a sense directing is a little bit like sex
  • Taking different approaches to turning true life stories into drama with Siege and Underbelly: Land of the Long Green Cloud
  • Lessons learned as a director

This video was first uploaded on 28 April 2014 and is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence. 

 
 

  Tags

directing, producing, acting, comedy, farce, russell crowe, michael hurst, john gilbert, mark beesley, robyn malcolm, antony starr, antonia prebble, tammy davis, outrageous fortune, john mcrae, russell crowe, michael hurst, john gilbert, mark beesley, robyn malcolm, antony starr, antonia prebble, tammy davis, jan molenaar, outrageous fortune, radio waves, heroes, cover story, the almighty johnsons, siege, nancy wake: the white mouse, underbelly nz - land of the long green cloud, willy nilly

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Mark Hadlow: From a teenage bully to a troll and a dwarf…

Posted on 21 January 2014

Actor Tandi Wright once called Mark Hadlow "the best physical comedian I've ever seen". 

Hadlow first appeared on our TV screens as a teenage bully in Children of Fire Mountain. Later he worked alongside Ilona Rodgers and Billy T James in the sitcom version of The Billy T James Show. His flair for comedy earned him starring roles in the film Just Me and Mario, and TV series Willy Nilly. Hadlow has worked twice with director Peter Jackson – first providing voices to a range of characters in Meet the Feebles, and then playing both a dwarf and a troll in The Hobbit trilogy.

In this ScreenTalk, Hadlow talks about:

  • Turning disappointment into triumph with Children of Fire Mountain
  • Being hospitalised after an accident on set
  • Working hard in the starring role of film Just Me and Mario
  • Having fun playing a dopey Australian on The Billy T James Show
  • Being nominated for a 'best actress' award after playing a hippo and a hedgehog in Meet the Feebles
  • Never having a bad day on the set of Willy Nilly
  • How co-star Sean Duffy influenced him on the show
  • The best six weeks of his life: rehearsing for King Kong with Naomi Watts
  • Bringing Bert the Troll to life in The Hobbit
  • Being teased mercilessly by fellow actor Martin Freeman

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

mark hadlow, children of fire mountain, actor, ilona rodgers, billy t james, the billy t james show, just me and mario, willy nilly, peter jackson, meet the feebles, the hobbit, sean duffy, martin freeman, king kong, naomi watts, bert the troll, best actress, tandi wright, bill johnson, terence cooper, mike smith, heidi the hippo

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Sean Duffy: From cop shows to comedy…

Posted on 12 November 2012

Sean Duffy started his TV career as a news and documentary editor, then later began mixing in acting roles on film and television. His major breakthrough role was in Mortimer’s Patch. Since then he has starred in numerous TV shows including Willy Nilly, Plain Clothes, Tiger Country and The Neighbourhood Network. His film credits include Utu, Came a Hot Friday and Smash Palace. Duffy has also directed a number of TV documentary series. In this ScreenTalk, Duffy talks about:

  • Being laughed at for his acting in The Governor
  • Mortimer’s Patch being his favourite acting experience
  • How the pace of the show was incredibly slow by modern standards
  • Seeing a horse being spray-painted on the set of the film Utu
  • Ending up buried under a concrete airport runway on Gloss
  • Terrifying fellow actor Simon Prast in one scene
  • Being surprised that TV3 commissioned quirky comedy The Neighbourhood Network
  • How illness ruined his performance in Tiger Country
  • Forming a brilliant working partnership with Mark Hadlow on Willy Nilly
  • Not understanding why the show was cancelled

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

director, interview, actor, came a hot friday, willy nilly, sean duffy, mortimer’s patch, tiger country, the neighbourhood network, utu, smash palace, documentary, the governor, screentalk

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Tandi Wright - as seen on TV

Posted on 3 October 2011

Tandi Wright spent some of her childhood in the dressing room at Avalon TV Studios - waiting for her actor parents to finish work on Close to Home. But rather than encouraging her to follow suit, Wright insists they were always “realistic about how nearly impossible it is to make a career out of acting”. She agrees - but seems to have pulled off the “impossible” anyway. Wright has been acting for television since the age of six, playing lead roles in some of New Zealand’s top productions including Shortland Street, Willy Nilly, Being Eve, Serial Killers, Outrageous Fortune, This Is Not My Life and Nothing Trivial. Her film credits include Not Only But Always, Black Sheep, and Out of the Blue. In this ScreenTalk interview, Wright reveals:

  • How she learnt to cope with the disappointment of “hitting the cutting room floor” from a very early age
  • How she felt about her time at Shortland Street and her reasons for leaving the soap
  • Her experiences on the set of Street Legal
  • The joys of working with Mark Hadlow and Sean Duffy on Willy Nilly
  • An insight into the characterisations on TV series Serial Killers
  • What it was like to join the cast of Outrageous Fortune in series six
  • Her feelings on playing Julie Ann Bryson and the grueling subject matter in the feature film Out of the Blue, based on the Aramoana shootings
  • Her impressions of the production and her character in TV series This Is Not My Life
  • The benefits of an ensemble cast in Nothing Trivial

This video is available on YouTube to embed and distribute via a Creative Commons licence.

 
 

  Tags

actor, acting, outrageous fortune, shortland street, close to home, street legal, willy nilly, being eve, serial killers, this is not my life, nothing trivial, not only but always, out of the blue, mark hadlow, sean duffy, new zealand, black sheep

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